Monday, February 25, 2013

Study suggests real-world generating capacity of wind farms at large scales has been overestimated

News today that Harvard professor David Keith is noting the potential for electricity generation from wind is less than thought - dropping off after 0.5 watts/meter, and likely not exceeding 1 watt/meter.
Keith should have been more prominently in the news recently for stating Enbridge had demanded the removal of an academic from the energy research centre at the University of Calgary (here).
Enbridge owns the Kingsbridge wind project in Ontario - which I wrote on, critically, here

Study suggests real-world generating capacity of wind farms at large scales has been overestimated:
Keith's research has shown that the generating capacity of very large wind power installations (larger than 100 square kilometers) may peak at between 0.5 and 1 watts per square meter. Previous estimates, which ignored the turbines' slowing effect on the wind, had put that figure at between 2 and 7 watts per square meter.
In short, we may not have access to as much wind power as scientists thought.
An internationally renowned expert on climate science and technology policy, Keith holds appointments as Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and as Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Coauthor Amanda S. Adams was formerly a postdoctoral fellow with Keith and is now assistant professor of geography and Earth sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
"One of the inherent challenges of wind energy is that as soon as you start to develop wind farms and harvest the resource, you change the resource, making it difficult to assess what's really available," says Adams.
Read the entire article at

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